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Program prioritization timeline changed, programs defined, task forces named

June 1, 2015

Program prioritization criteriaSeveral key steps in NIU’s Program Prioritization process were concluded in May, while feedback on timetables from program leaders convinced organizers to add additional months to the schedule.

Academic Programs Inventory Nears Completion

Finishing touches are being put on an exhaustive list of academic programs to be reviewed during the Program Prioritization process.  Following months of meetings with division, college and departmental leaders, NIU’s academic offerings have been categorized into approximately 265 discrete programs.

An academic program can generally be linked to a Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code, but most importantly, an academic program conducts, rather than supports, the mission of the university.

Information on program definition rules describes in more detail the thinking that has gone into creation of an academic program inventory.  The full list of academic programs will be posted on the Program Prioritization website next week.  A similar inventory of administrative programs is still under constructions, with an anticipated completion date later this month.

Task Force Members Chosen

A shared governance group of faculty, staff, and students reviewed more than 110 applications for membership on Program Prioritization task forces, and chose a full complement of participants for each group.

Task Force selectees and their supervisors have been notified and must now sign a document that details the terms of their service.  The arrangements for the extensive work of the task force in the spring semester of 2016 must be agreed to by both the employee and the supervisor for each Task Force member prior to the release of names.

Task Force members will be announced and listed on the Program Prioritization website as soon as all of the forms have been signed – likely by mid-June.

The following members of NIU’s campus community selected the Task Force members:

  • Lisa Freeman, executive vice president and Provost
  • Al Phillips, vice president for Administration and Finance
  • Bill Pitney, executive secretary, University Council & Faculty Senate President
  • Melissa Lenczewski, Faculty Senate representative
  • Greg Long, Faculty Senate representative
  • Richard Siegesmund, Faculty Senate representative
  • Jeanne Meyer, Supportive Professional Staff representative
  • David Long, Operating Staff Council representative
  • Nathan Lupstein, Student Association representative

Prioritization timeline pushed forward

In response to concerns from members of the campus community, NIU officials have agreed to push forward the deadline for completion of program analysis by Academic and Administrative task forces.

Rather than beginning their work in October and finishing in March, the new timeline calls for the task forces to do all their work during the Spring 2016 semester, finishing in April.

This eliminates working across two semesters, and provides more time for input of program data and training of task force members.

“We continue to respond to campus concerns with flexibility,” said Lisa Freeman, executive vice president and Provost.

“In addition to pushing up the task force work, we will be offering the option of pushing back deadlines related to standard program review and assessment work to give departments more time for program prioritization work,” she added.